Emmy Episode Analysis: Reg E. Cathey (‘House of Cards’) bets his BBQ joint for Emmy gold

Reg E. Cathey earns his first Emmy nomination, for Best Drama Guest Actor, for playing Freddy Hayes, the owner of a ribs restaurant in Southeast DC that is frequented by Vice President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in “House of Cards.”

Which ‘House of Cards’ episode will win Kevin Spacey the Emmy?

SYNOPSIS: In Cathey’s episode, “Chapter 22,” we see that Freddy’s restaurant has become popular now that Underwood has risen to a more prominent government role. This leads Freddy to sign a contract to start a franchise and create a line of barbecue sauces, and as his prospects start to improve, he tries to reconnect with his estranged son.

But Freddy’s personal life becomes a political weapon when businessman Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney) leaks to the press that Freddy served prison time for armed robbery and killing an elderly couple. Photographers hound Freddy and his son, who threatens one of them with a gun, violating his parole. Freddy is forced to sell the restaurant to pay his son’s bail.

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Frank visits Freddy to offer his help, but Freddy declines, saying that they were never friends and that Frank was just a loyal customer.

Can Cathey get an Emmy on his first nod? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:


Cathey has been in the business for 30 years and had prominent roles in the Emmy-winning miniseries “The Corner” as well as “Oz” and “The Wire.”

“House of Cards” is now an even bigger Emmy player, building in nominations from nine last year to 13 this year, and being recognized for the first time for actors besides leads Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.

Cathey gives Freddy amazing gravitas, and his deep voice gives every bit of his dialogue an extra punch.


Even when his character is emotional, Cathey is mostly stoic; it’s not the kind of showy performance that the Emmys often prefer to reward.

He has some good scenes, but no grand speeches about his family or situation.

Some revelations about Freddy happen when Cathey is off-screen and being discussed by Spacey and Wright.

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Cathey is currently in third place in our overall predictions with odds of 15/2. Do you think he can pull off a victory? Make your predictions below.

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